Ministry of Education Marks Milestone in Gender Budgeting

Since March 2015, the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (MEST) and Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) have been collaborating on institutionalizing Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) in MEST. 
   July marked a great success in this collaboration, since MEST prepared a GRB annex for its annual budget with KWN support. MEST has successfully prepared and attached this annex to its annual budget, marking the first step towards institutionalizing GRB in its budget documents and processes. This annex includes gender disaggregated information regarding public universities’ scholarship recipients, as well as gender disaggregated data on MEST staff, including by salary level. Such data can help elucidate inequalities in MEST budget allocations and within one of the most important sectors of Kosovo: Education. Identifying inequalities in prior spending can provide important information in planning for more equitable expenditures in the future. 
     GRB is now a legal obligation for budget organizations in the Republic of Kosovo. The new Law on Gender Equality 05/L-020 has a specific article on GRB, which obliges budget organizations to integrate GRB in their budget processes and documents. Further, the Budget Circular 2016/02 released by the Ministry of Finance in July 2015 encouraged all budget organizations to include GRB in their annual budgets. MEST’s annex can serve as a positive example for other ministries in the Republic of Kosovo in the future. 
   The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW) achieved a related success, by also provided gender disaggregated data in their budget document 
While GRB is a simple concept and a legal obligation, it remains a new practice in Kosovo and beyond. Only a few countries have successfully integrated GRB in their budget documents (see, for example, Austria, the State of Berlin and Andalusia. Thus, MEST in Kosovo is now among the leading examples of how gender can be integrated into budget documents. 
    KWN and MEST collaboration towards institutionalizing GRB was funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). KWN support to MLSW was supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).